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General News Tue, 11 Mar 2008

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Ghana's energy experts in Liberia to commission power

From: Lawrence Quartey, GNA Special Correspondent, Monrovia

Monrovia, March 11, GNA - Ghana's energy experts and government officials are currently in Monrovia to officially close an Emergency Power Programme (EPP) that has restored electricity to Liberia after the country had been in total darkness for about 15 years.

Mr Kwame Ampofo-Twumasi, Deputy Minister of Energy is leading the delegation, which comprised of experts from Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana's flagship public utility company that provided the technical assistance with project design.

Experts from VRA also undertook the construction engineering for both civil and electro-mechanical works as well as the responsibility for the implementation of the construction phase. The EPP began in 2006, following an assurance by President John Agyekum Kufuor to the Liberian Government to assist in her reconstruction programme especially with the restoration of power. After the 15-year civil war, Liberia was in total darkness due to massive destruction of electric power supply.

On July 26, 2006, which marked the country's independence anniversary, President Kufuor visited Liberia and together with President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson turned the lights on for the first time again.

The Government of Ghana with funding from the European Commission committed 3.1 million dollars to the 7.2 million-dollar-project that covered two suburbs in Monrovia - Congo and Kru towns. Prior to the restoration of power, Monrovia at night sounded like a symphony from an orchestra of locomotive engines because Liberia's hydro-electrical supplies were totally destroyed during the war. The civil war ended in 2003 when the international community, with Ghana at the forefront, persuaded President Charles Taylor to step down. At the sod-cutting ceremony for the project, Ghana News Agency's report from Monrovia quoted President Sirleaf-Johnson as saying: "The three partners, Ghana, US, EC have stood with Liberia, even in the thick and thin, during the difficult times of the conflict. And in our reconstruction today they are the key partners to help us start our economic construction."

Source: GNA

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